Category Archives: Business & Politics

Business & Politics

Hurricane Fiona highlights gaps in insurance as climate change worsens, experts say

By Rosa Saba
Canadian Press in Toronto Star
September 27, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

TORONTO – Many Atlantic Canadian homeowners may be on the hook for a significant portion of the damages to their homes caused by hurricane Fiona due to a lack of insurance covering flooding caused by storms. Residential home insurance policies usually cover wind damage, including falling trees, and certain kinds of water damage, according to Amanda Dean, vice-president, Atlantic, for the Insurance Bureau of Canada. However, they normally require an add-on policy in order to cover floods, she said. These overland flood endorsements didn’t exist in Canada before 2015, she said, when an increasing number of flooding events made it clear that additional coverage was needed. …There are gaps in the Canadian insurance industry when it comes to natural disasters, said Nadja Dreff, senior vice-president of global insurance at DBRS Morningstar.

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Adapting to climate change faster will save Canada billions, new analysis says

The Canadian Press in BC Local News
September 28, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canadians will see lower incomes and a choice between higher taxes or fewer government services if there isn’t more effort to adapt to the changing climate, a report from The Canadian Climate Institute warns. But according to a report, if governments and the private sector start investing in making Canada more resilient to the effects of extreme weather, the economic impact of climate change can be cut by 75%. “The good news story is we have some ability to change this future,” said Ryan Ness. In its analysis, called Damage Control, the institute looked at projected economic growth and analyzed the impact of different scenarios based on how many greenhouse gas emissions are eliminated and what we do to prepare. The worst news is that in every scenario, Canada’s climate is already changing and more severe weather — drought, forest fires, flooding, and damaging storms — is already upon us.

Additional coverage in the Vancouver Sun, by Tiffany Crawford: Climate impacts could tank Canada’s economy without financial support: report

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After Fiona, climate experts urge Canada to fix flagship adaptation strategy

By Nia Williams
Reuters
September 28, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s first national climate adaptation strategy needs to be improved to include near-term targets and specific solutions ahead of its November release to mitigate worsening global warming impacts, experts advising the government told Reuters in the wake of devastation caused by storm Fiona. Fiona, one of the worst storms to ever hit Canada… is expected to cost between C$300 million and C$700 million in insured losses, compared with C$2.1 billion ($1.6 billion) of insurance damage for severe weather events across Canada last year, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). The destruction comes weeks before Ottawa releases its first ever National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) in early November. …Craig Stewart of IBC said there have been signs the government is improving the NAS before its release and trying to “close the gap” between experts’ recommendations and what Environment Canada officials are proposing by including short-term actions with clear targets.

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Scott Thomson retiring as Finning International’s CEO; Kevin Parkes named as successor

Finning International Inc.
September 26, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Kevin Parkes

VANCOUVER, BC — Finning International announced that Scott Thomson, President and CEO will retire from the Company and the Board of Directors on November 15, 2022, after leading the company for the last nine years. Kevin Parkes, currently COO will succeed Mr. Thomson and will join the Board on November 16, 2022. “I would like to thank Scott for his invaluable contributions to the Company,” said Hal Kvisle, Board Chair. “Over the last nine years, Scott has navigated Finning through periods of significant end-market change, including the COVID-19 pandemic.” …Kevin Parkes  became Chief Operating Officer for Finning International in April 2022, after serving as President of Finning Canada since 2019. Over the course of his career at Finning, Kevin has held progressively senior leadership positions, including Managing Director of Finning UK and Ireland. …Kevin holds a BA in Business Administration from Staffordshire University.

Related coverage in BNN: Porter retiring as Scotiabank’s CEO; Finning CEO Scott Thomson named successor

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Cariboo-Prince George MP honoured by Forest Products Association of Canada

The Williams Lake Tribune
September 23, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The MP for Cariboo-Prince George has been recognized as a community champion by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). Todd Doherty was among the recipients of the FPAC’s Community Champion Award, which recognizes community leaders who demonstrate support for the forest sector and its contributions to Canada’s environmental, economic and social priorities. He received the award with Dawson Creek mayor Dale Bumstead, Radium Hot Springs mayor Clara Reinhard and the Alberta Northwest Species at Risk Committee at an awards ceremony held Thursday, Sept. 22, in Ottawa. “In their own special way, each of those being recognized today have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the advancement of sustainability and responsible resource development in Canada,” said FPAC president and CEO Derek Nighbor.

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Business, individual take home Canadian awards during National Forest Week

By Kirk Penton
Castanet
September 25, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

This is National Forest Week, so FPAC handed out its annual Awards of Excellence, which recognize people across Canada who have made exceptional contributions to the forest sector and to forestry communities. One of the those winners was Coldstream’s Mark Tamas, who was honoured with an FPAC Lifetime Achievement Award. Tamas, who recently retired after 32 years with Tolko and its predecessor companies, was everything from logging supervisor to planning forester to Woodlands manager. He also represented Tolko in three provinces with the federal government on matters relating to sustainable forestry. …The other winner this week was West Kelowna’s Ntityix Resources LP, which captured the FPAC-Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Indigenous Business Leadership Award. General manager Dave Gill accepted the award in Ottawa on behalf of the company.

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Mayor Reinhardt awarded as community champion by FPAC

East Kootenay News Weekly e-KNOW
September 25, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Clara Reinhardt

Village of Radium Hot Springs Mayor Clara Reinhardt is winding down her second, and last, term in office with another accolade – this time from Forest Products Association of Canada. …“The FPAC Awards of Excellence program is an opportunity to pay tribute to the remarkable people who help make our sector a world leader in sustainable forest management and who advance the many environmental, social, and economic benefits of Canadian forestry,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. Mayor Reinhardt is one of four people/groups receiving FPAC Community Champion Award, along with Todd Doherty – MP for Cariboo-Prince George, British Columbia, Dale Bumstead –City of Dawson Creek Mayor and Alberta Northwest Species at Risk Committee (NWSAR). Reinhardt’s honour was noticed and lauded by Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison in Parliament.

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New research outlines Drax’s CA$1.1 billion contribution to the Canadian economy

Drax Group Inc.
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

Independent analysis by Oxford Economics has shown that last year renewable energy leader Drax contributed CA$1.1 billion towards the Canadian economy and supported 10,400 jobs across the UK. The analysis measured the economic impact of Drax Group’s Canadian operations, which includes 10 plants across British Columbia and Alberta which produce sustainable biomass wood pellets used to generate renewable power in the UK and Asia. The renewable power leader spent CA$736 million with Canadian suppliers last year, with more than half of this total (58%) spent with businesses located in BC. A further 13% was spent with businesses in Alberta and 12% with firms in Montreal. …Matt White, Drax’s Senior Vice President, said: “not only is Drax playing a critical role in keeping the lights on for millions of homes and businesses across the UK and Asia, but we are also proud to be supporting thousands of jobs in Canada.”

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Canada’s Forest Sector Announces Awards of Excellence Recipients, Celebrating Its Best and Brightest

Forest Products Association of Canada
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

As National Forest Week is celebrated across the country, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is seizing the opportunity to announce the recipients of its annual Awards of Excellence program – which recognizes the outstanding people across Canada who have made exceptional contributions to the forest sector and to forestry communities. “The FPAC Awards of Excellence program is an opportunity to pay tribute to the remarkable people who help make our sector a world leader in sustainable forest management and who advance the many environmental, social, and economic benefits of Canadian forestry,” said FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor. “As we continue our transition to a low-carbon economy, Canada’s forest products sector is proud to honour the dedicated professionals who strengthen the benefits that sustainable forest management, forest products, and family-supporting forestry jobs provide to Canadians from coast-to-coast.”

FPAC’s 2022 Awards of Excellence recipients include:

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Free to Grow in Forestry – Declaration of Intent

Free To Grow in Forestry
September 20, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

This Declaration aims to rally the executive leaders in Canada’s Free to Grow in Forestry Initiative to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. It outlines a specific set of actions they intend to take to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed, and employees feel comfortable and empowered to have an open dialogue about diversity and inclusion. …As leaders of some of North America’s largest corporations and associated organizations such as Government Departments or industry associations, as well as smaller family-operated businesses, we collectively manage thousands of employees and play a critical role in ensuring that inclusion is core to our workplace culture and that our businesses and organizations are representative of the communities we serve. Moreover, we know that diversity improves corporate performance, drives growth, enhances employee engagement and is, therefore, good for the economy. Simply put, organizations and businesses with diverse teams perform better.

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Dawson Creek Fire Department responds to fire at LP mill

By Shailynn Foster
Energetic City
September 27, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — The Dawson Creek Fire Department received a call Saturday afternoon for a fire at the Louisiana Pacific mill. Todd Pickett, deputy fire chief, says it started in a pile of bark, otherwise known as hog fuel, though the cause remains unknown. …Crews arrived a little after one o’clock and requested forestry assistance as well as mutual aid from the Fire Departments in Tom’s Lake and Pouce Coupe.“LP brought in a dozer and an excavator, and they kind of moved the pile around all the hotspots in the pile,” Pickett said. When crews left around 6 p.m., Pickett says the fire was “well under control,” and LP personnel had a hose line out to continue extinguishing hot spots.

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B.C. Supreme Court hears closing arguments on Nuchatlaht First Nation’s land claim

By Brieanna Charlebois
Canadian Press in CBC News
September 27, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A lawyer for the Nuchatlaht First Nation, which is fighting for title to part of Nootka Island in British Columbia, has told a court that the underlying objective of the proceeding is reconciliation. Jack Woodward said in his closing argument that the province has placed “the burden of reconciliation squarely on the court,” in the first test of the landmark 2014 Tsilhqot’in Aboriginal title decision by the Supreme Court of Canada. “The province presents the court with a stark choice: dismissal or declaration,” Woodward told the court Tuesday. …The lawsuit… argues that the B.C. and federal governments denied Nuchatlaht rights by authorizing logging and “effectively dispossessing” the nation of territory on Vancouver Island’s west coast. …The closing arguments come about five months after the province announced the development of “a new approach to litigation” as part of its process to implement legislation in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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Update on the rebuilding at Tolko’s High Prairie division

Tolko Industries Ltd.
September 26, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

High Prairie, AB — Tolko’s High Prairie team is continuing to work hard on the clean-up effort following the serious press fire that occurred at the mill on May 20, 2022. The damage to the press and press building was significant, and much of the equipment was a total loss. The good news is that Tolko will be rebuilding the site and replacing the existing press line. The project is still in the preliminary engineering phase, so timelines may shift, but the early estimate is that the mill will see the first new board before the end of Q4 2023. “I’m incredibly proud of the team at High Prairie and I’m happy that we’ve been able to keep everyone fully employed,” says Fred Chinn, Tolko’s VP, Strand Based Business. “We’ll do everything we can to keep employees active during the rebuilding, and I’m so impressed with the heart and commitment that I’ve seen from everyone.”

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16-day curtailment planned at Cariboo Pulp and Paper due to forestry challenges

The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
September 26, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

QUESNEL, British Columbia — Operations at Cariboo Pulp and Paper will be curtailed for 16 days, affecting around 160 employees, beginning Saturday, Oct. 29. Joyce Wagenaar, a corporate spokesperson for West Fraser Mills, said the curtailment is necessary to better align Cariboo Pulp and Paper’s operating capacity with the available supply of wood chips. “Timber supply and access has become an increasing challenge in British Columbia,” Wagenaar said. “Infestation, wildfire, forest policy decisions and other considerations have resulted in fewer logs being processed in Interior sawmills, and therefore fewer wood chips and pulp logs are available as feedstock for B.C. pulp mills.” Cariboo Pulp and Paper is jointly owned between West Fraser and Mercer International. [END]

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BC Log & Timber Building Industry Association is hiring an Executive Director

BC Log & Timber Building Industry Association
September 26, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For over 25 years, the BC Log & Timber Building Industry Association has represented members across the province and elsewhere in Canada. Members include hand crafted, machine profiled and timber framers plus associate members from builders and engineers to insurance and schools. The Executive Director is the key management and administrative position of the BC Log & Timber Building Industry Association. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, member services, financial management and stakeholder liaising (e.g. members, government, other associations, the public). The position reports directly to the Board of Directors and oversees any project contractors. Do you have a passion for log homes, forestry value‐add and/or wood craftsmanship? Come join the BC Log & Timber Builders team and lead us into our future where building with wood is good.

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Tree spiking a criminal act putting workers’ lives at risk

Teal Jones Group
September 23, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

We’ve been detecting a large number of spiked trees coming from Tree Farm Licence 46 on Vancouver Island in recent weeks. We have measures in place to detect these logs and pull them out of milling. On September 19 one spiked log made it through. The spike hit a saw blade, destroying the saw and very nearly hitting our sawyer. He could have been killed. Tree spiking is a dangerous criminal activity meant to maim or kill forestry workers. There can be no justification for that. We’ve also been finding bundles of spikes stashed in the area around blockaders’ camps. The blockaders have … blocked culverts, dug into roads to undermine bridges, sabotaged helicopter landing pads, vandalized equipment, and spread nails on roads. In one troubling instance last year they stopped a vehicle of tree planters on their way to work, held them, and insisted they be allowed to search the tree planters’ vehicle. 

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Nail spikes in Fairy Creek timber could have been deadly

By Mary Griffin
Chek TV News
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Teal Jones director of Indigenous partnerships and strategic relations, Conrad Browne, said imber taken from trees in the Fairy Creek watershed were hammered with nail spikes resulting in damage to a saw. “It went through our process, and literally almost killed our sawyer. We’re very, very fortunate not to have something very dramatic, and traumatic happen in our mill on Monday morning.” …Browne said they were able to trace the origins of the tree back to a location near a protestors’ camp.”

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Taylor pulp mill restart not expected until 2023: Canfor

By Shailynn Foster
Energetic City
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

TAYLOR, B.C. — Canfor says it doesn’t expect to consider restarting its Taylor pulp mill until next spring. Michelle Ward, a spokesperson for Canfor, says, based on ongoing discussions with the company’s transportation partners, the supply chain backlog is not expected to significantly improve before the end of the year. She adds that winter is generally a more challenging time for rail transportation. “We have therefore been preparing to winterize the facility in anticipation that it will likely be next spring before we could consider restarting Taylor Pulp,” she said in an email. This follows Canfor’s statement on Monday that production capacity at most solid wood facilities across the province will be reduced for two weeks, starting September 26th. …The initial Taylor mill curtailment was announced in February 2022, followed by a six-week extension in March.

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Injunction against Fairy Creek logging protests extended, but protesters declare ‘moral victory’

By Ian Holliday
CTV News
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C. judge has extended an injunction against old-growth logging protesters in the Fairy Creek watershed for another year, but the protesters say his ruling is a “moral victory” for their cause. …Opting to extend the injunction granted to Teal Cedar for another year, Justice Douglas W. Thompson dedicated a significant portion of his reasons to discussing the arguments of the protesters. While his reason for doing so was to emphasize their dedication to their cause – and therefore the likelihood that they will continue attempting to disrupt Teal Cedar’s logging activity – the judge wrote sympathetically about the protesters. “I have come to understand what at first blush seems counterintuitive: the people I have sentenced value and appreciate the importance of obeying the law,” Thompson wrote. …”The purpose of outlining their motives… is to explain why I think it likely that obstructive activity will continue, and why I agree with Teal Cedar’s submission.”

Additional coverage in the Vancouver Sun by Keith Fraser: Judge extends injunction against old-growth logging protests at Fairy Creek

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Diversified cargo sectors support mid-year trade results through the Port of Vancouver

Cision Newswire
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC – The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority today released 2022 mid-year statistics for goods moving through the Port of Vancouver. Overall cargo declined 11% to 68.3 million from 76.4 million metric tonnes (MMT) compared to the same period last year, reflecting impacts of a poor Canadian grain harvest, congestion caused by 2021 flooding in B.C., and global and national supply-chain challenges. …Breakbulk cargo decreased 3% to 9.6 MMT. Log and wood pulp volumes decreased 7% and 8% respectively, while basic metals increased 18% compared to 2020. …Although some near-term supply-chain challenges [continue], Canada’s west coast container trade remains on a long-term growth trajectory, averaging 5% growth annually for the past decade, and west coast terminals are projected to reach capacity by the mid- to late-2020s. To meet Canada’s coming capacity needs for containerized trade, the port authority is leading the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project. The project is in the final stages of a federal environmental assessment process.

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Merritt forester named new BC First Nations Forestry Council CEO

By Marius Auer
The Merritt Herald
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC First Nations Forestry Council (BCFNFC) recently found its newest CEO in Merritt man Lennard Joe, a Registered Professional Forester with more than 30 years of experience in natural resource management and consulting. A member of the Nlaka’pamux First Nation, the council says Joe’s role as an Indigenous professional forester has opened doors in Indigenous governance, provincial and federal governments, industry, academia, and forest certification. The BCFNFC says it is an advocacy organization working to support B.C. First Nations in increasing their role as the rightful owners of forest, lands, and resources. Promoting governance and stewardship of forest resources by First Nations, the council hopes to improve and sustain economic wealth and wellbeing in these communities through Indigenous values and sustainable practices. Joe, who has acted as the organization’s CEO since his appointment on August 15, wants to see First Nations have more of a seat at the table.

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Tla’amin Nation submits conditional offer to buy paper mill on site of ancestral village

By Emily Fagan
CBC News
September 21, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

POWELL RIVER, BC — A former Powell River paper mill up for sale sits on the site of tiskʷat, the Tla’amin Nation’s ancient village. Now, in a bid to buy back the land, the nation has sent a letter of intent to Paper Excellence, the current owner of the property. …Elected leader of the Tla’amin Nation, Dillon Johnson, feels they are the “only logical” next owners. “We want to balance the priorities of today, which is restoring the salmon run and tidying up some of the environmental issues, but also bringing economic prosperity to the whole region”. …The Tla’amin Nation has established a memorandum of understanding with Pacific Hydrogen Canada for a potential green energy project at the site. …The Catalyst Paper tiskwat mill produced paper for more than 100 years before it was temporarily shut down at the start of the pandemic.

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Stella Jones, a Truro company, is churning out hundreds of utility poles for Nova Scotia Power

CBC News
September 28, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

Stella Jones, a Truro, Nova Scotia, company is playing a key role in restoring power after post-tropical storm Fiona knocked it out for hundreds of thousands Nova Scotia Power customers. Nova Scotia Power is in the process of replacing hundreds of poles damaged in the storm. Stella Jones is the only company in the province that pressure-treats the wood used in utility poles. Most of the poles are made from yellow pine brought in from the southern U.S. The company treats other types of lumber, but right now the focus is exclusively on replacing poles damaged by Fiona. Nova Scotia Power buys 7,500 poles a year, but around 1,000 poles have left the plant per day since the storm hit. [END]

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New Brunswick goes quiet on whether forest companies really face $50M royalty hike

By Robert Jones
CBC News
September 28, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

Mike Holland

The New Brunswick government says forestry companies will pay “tens of millions of dollars” more in timber royalties this year than last year, but it appears to have backed away from a widely circulated claim in July that extra revenue for the province could reach $50 million. What caused the shift is not entirely clear, and so far provincial officials are not answering questions about it. In a letter released last week criticizing a CBC News story that showed royalty rates on softwood pulpwood are being lowered by the province, Minister Mike Holland said most types of wood taken from provincially owned forests carry higher prices than last year. …”Total timber royalties could top $100 million.” …That’s a subtle but potentially significant revision of earlier estimates that the province would receive $50 million this year. …Reaching $100 million instead would require $32 million in additional royalty revenue, not $50 million.

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GreenFirst Announces Successful Debt Refinancing

By GreenFirst Forest Products
Business Wire in the Province
September 26, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

TORONTO — GreenFirst Forest Products announced the closing of $140 million in financing from the Bank of Montreal. The financing includes a $125 million asset-backed revolving credit facility and a $15 million term loan. This refinancing replaced a high yield US$90 million secured term loan and a $65 million asset-backed loan facility. The refinanced credit terms have lowered the Company’s cost of capital and have simplified compliance. The terms also provide GreenFirst with flexibility to advance our strategy, which includes deploying capital to expand production at our operations and the possible sale of non-core assets.

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Forests Ontario leaves Toronto to put down new roots in Barrie

By Shawn Gibson
Barrie Today
September 21, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada East

Forests Ontario celebrated National Forest Week, which runs Sept. 18-24, with the official opening of their new office in downtown Barrie. The organization’s headquarters had been in Toronto, across from Union Station, but the pandemic presented Forests Ontario with the opportunity to move north and get closer to its partners in the forestry sector. At Wednesday morning’s opening at the office on Maple Avenue Forests Ontario CEO Rob Keen said he and the staff were happy to be in the city, citing several of the benefits of being here. “It really is a thrill to be here in Barrie and what a great location we have surrounded by the fantastic facilities that the city has to offer,” said Keen. “Right across from our front door is the lake, and for those coming in from Toronto, there is the GO station just down the road.”

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UK accused of funding environmental racism with subsidies to Drax

By Damien Gayle
The Guardian UK
September 26, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

The UK government has been accused of funding environmental racism by giving £2m a day in subsidies to an energy company that has paid out millions over claims it breached pollution limits in the US south. An investigation by Unearthed, Greenpeace’s investigative unit, found Drax Biomass paid millions of dollars to US regulators over claims it exceeded limits on chemicals emissions at wood chip plants close to black and low-income communities. Among the charges faced by Drax was that it exceeded limits on emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To fuel its operations, and to tap into an increasing global market for biomass fuel, Drax operates an extensive North American supply chain, with 13 sites in the US and Canada producing 1.5m tonnes of compressed wood pellets a year. Late last month, Drax agreed to two settlements of $1.6m each with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

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Weyerhaeuser Strike Continues as Stock Prices Stumble

By Sander Gusinow
Oregon Business
September 23, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Shares of Weyerhaeuser declined 1.84% on September 22. The company’s stock underperformed when compared to its competitors, as West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd fell only 0.33%, Canfor Corp. declined 1.64%, and PotlatchDeltic fell 0.86%. The news comes at a time of constraint for the lumber company. Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) union have been on strike since Sept. 12. …Graham Trainor, president of the Oregon AFL-CIO… “Weyerhaeuser CEO Devin Stockfish earned lavish multimillion-dollar bonuses during the pandemic and last year was paid over $12.3 million. Meanwhile, the company insists workers must take pay cuts and cuts to benefits.” …Denise Merle, senior vice president for Weyerhaeuser, responded to striking employees’ demands with a statement saying the company’s last offer was “very competitive” and that the company “fundamentally disagree[s]” with the way it has been portrayed to the public.

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Weyerhaeuser employee contract negotiations ongoing

By Billy Spotz
KVAL 13 Oregon
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Weyerhaeuser employees are in the second week of their ongoing strike against the contract proposal from Weyerhaeuser. Over the past two years, Weyerhaeuser has reported record profits, and the most recent contract proposal it submitted to its employees involved healthcare premium cuts, making benefits more expensive during a time when money is already tight. …Last Friday, Weyerhaeuser employees and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers submitted a counteroffer to Weyerhaeuser. Thursday afternoon, Weyerhaeuser rejected it, standing firm on their previous proposal, believing it to be more than fair. Despite the gap between the two sides, some representatives from the IAMAW believe that they aren’t too far apart. …Weyerhaeuser and its employees are scheduled to meet again next Friday to continue negotiations.

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Benton County sawmill out of steam but still going strong

By Tom Henderson
The Oregonian
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

OREGON — A decade ago, the Hull-Oakes Lumber Co. still literally operated under its own steam. The sawmill, some 10 miles west of Monroe in Benton County, was one of the last to operate under steam power and remain commercially viable. Eventually, though, the 21st century proved inescapable. The company switched completely to electricity-based production in 2013, phasing in the electrical equipment over the course of a year or two. The old steam technology remained as a backup, but it’s been years since workers fired up the boiler for production, said Nathan Nystrom, the family-operated mill’s log buyer and forester. …The mill nonetheless remains a historical curiosity. A landmark recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, the sawmill was notable not only for its old-school methods, but also its role in bolstering the early Benton County economy. …Today they have ~50 employees and produce between 15 to 20 million board feet per year. 

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Cascades announces the temporary shutdown of one of its two paper machines at its St. Helens, Oregon tissue facility

By Cascades Inc.
Cision Newswire
September 21, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

KINGSEY FALLS, QC – Cascades announces the temporary shutdown of one of its two tissue paper machines at its St. Helens, Oregon facility. The machine has an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons of tissue made from virgin fibre, and supplies the Company’s converting plants, primarily the Scappoose, Oregon facility. Production of the second machine, located in a separate building, is not impacted. Following inspections carried out as part of its annual maintenance shutdown which began on September 11, it was determined that additional verification of the structural condition of the building is required. The length of the shutdown is currently being determined. Cascades reiterates that the safety of its employees is a priority. The Company is evaluating the financial and operational impacts of this situation on the forecasts for its tissue operations in the current year and will provide additional information once this analysis has been completed.

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Georgia-Pacific investing $425 million in new Dixie facility following city land purchase

By Angele Latham
Jackson Sun
September 26, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

JACKSON, TN—Georgia-Pacific Manufacturing has announced that it will be investing $425 million into Jackson for the building of a Dixie manufacturing facility on the 241 acres of land recently purchased by the city in an elaborate land deal. The project is the largest single investment in Jackson’s history. The facility will mark the first new Dixie Manufacturing plant built since 1991. The facility, which will provide over 200 jobs, will sit on the land … which was purchased by the City of Jackson in December and sold to Georgia-Pacific manufacturing in February. …Construction is slated to begin by the end of the year, with startup in summer 2024, according to the official statement made by Georgia-Pacific. Once operational, the 900,000 square-foot plant will produce tableware products, including the Dixie and Dixie Ultra plates and bowls.

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Sappi Leaders Recognized for Excellence

By Sappi North America
News Direct
September 22, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Rebecca Barnard

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) has bestowed Rebecca Barnard, Sappi Forestry Certification Manager, with the Young Forester Leadership Award for her dedication to sustainability and responsible forestry. “We are thrilled for Rebecca’s achievement,” says Anne Ayer, Vice President, Pulp Business and Supply Chain. “Rebecca is a tremendous asset to Sappi with her wealth of industry knowledge and expertise. This award is a testament to her commitment to responsible forestry… It could not be more well deserved.” The Young Forester Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leadership by a young forestry professional in the development and promotion of an individual program or project or for a sustained leadership role benefiting the practice of forestry and SAF. Recipients, who must be 40 or younger, are evaluated based on outstanding leadership in the profession, outstanding leadership in SAF, and sustained leadership roles benefiting the practice of forestry.

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The Jay mill closure will be a major blow despite its recent decline

By Michael Shepherd
Bangor Daily News
September 21, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

The announcement that the Jay paper mill would close in January and lay off 230 workers evoked the many closures that have hammered Maine’s paper industry over the past decade. This one is not like the others, but it remains a major blow on many levels. Both Jay and Livermore Falls were early centers of papermaking and the birthplace of International Paper in 1965. At its peak, it employed 1,500 people. It was the scene of a bitter 1987 strike against International Paper, which sold it in 2006. …Pennsylvania-based Pixelle Specialty Solutions bought it just two months before a catastrophic digester explosion in April 2020. Nobody was injured, but the workforce has shrunk as the mill pivoted and scaled back operations, idling one paper machine and declining to rebuild the damaged pulp mill. At the time, the mill’s pulp component made it an outsized part of Maine’s forest products industry, buying wood chips from sawmills and loggers.

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Dunn Paper to close Port Huron mill after 98 years

By Liz Shepard
Port Huron
September 21, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

Dunn Paper will close its Port Huron location Nov. 18. Ashley Carpenter, vice president of human resources for Dunn Paper, said the Port Huron plant currently has about 100 employees. Carpenter said the closure is due to “…ongoing challenges to generate positive cash flow in the face of adverse economic factors.” She said none of the six other Dunn Paper locations are being considered for closure. Dunn Paper has one other location in Michigan, in Menominee. The Port Huron mill started operation in 1924 …Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County CEO Dan Casey said the closure didn’t come as a surprise as the paper industry has been facing challenges, including the closure of the Domtar paper mill last year. In August 2021, Domtar Corp. announced it would be closing its Port Huron mill at 1700 Washington Ave., eliminating about 200 jobs. That mill had been in operation for more than 130 years.

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Maine paper mill damaged by 2020 blast to close for good

The Associated Press
September 20, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

JAY, Maine — A paper mill that was site of an explosion in 2020 is going to close in the new year, leaving 230 workers without jobs, the company said Tuesday. The Pixelle Specialty Solutions mill lost its ability to produce pulp but continued to operate a pair of paper machines after the explosion. The mill will close in the first quarter of 2023. “Economic forces beyond our control have combined to make profitable operations at the mill unsustainable,” Timothy Hess, CEO of Pennsylvania-based Pixelle, said. …The explosion in April 2020 shook the ground and sent debris and a slurry of chemicals raining down on nearby cars and buildings. No one was injured. But in the aftermath, the paper machines had to use pulp purchased from other mills, compounding the financial pressure on the mill, the company said.

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AURELIUS announces the acquisition of three European paper mills from Sappi

AURELIUS
September 29, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Luxembourg/Munich – AURELIUS announces the acquisition of three European paper mills from Sappi Limited (Sappi). The global company is the leading European producer of coated graphic, packaging, and speciality paper. In FY22, the three sites are expected to generate combined revenues of more than EUR 1 bn. The transaction, which will be executed by AURELIUS’ co-investment structure, is expected to close in Q1 2023, subject to approval by the relevant competition and regulatory authorities. …The carve-out transaction from Sappi’s European business includes sites in Kirkniemi (Finland), Maastricht (The Netherlands), and Stockstadt (Germany), with over 1,400 full-time employees combined. The sites produce paper products that are used in publications (e. g. retail advertising), graphic paper (e. g. annual reports) and graphic boards (e. g. packaging).

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SIG : champions future of sustainable forestry as top sponsor for FSC General Assembly

SIG
September 27, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SIG will be the exclusive top sponsor for the Forest Stewardship Council General Assembly in Bali, Indonesia, in October – an event that aims to set the course for a sustainable future for the world’s forests and the people and animals who inhabit them. “At SIG, we are committed to create more thriving forests as part of our ambition to go Way Beyond Good for people and the planet,” said Samuel Sigrist, CEO of SIG. “We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the FSC by supporting an event that will help to determine the future of sustainable forest management.” The FSC operates the world’s most rigorous and trusted forest certification system – one that SIG has spearheaded in its industry. …The 9th FSC General Assembly will take place October 2022. As the FSC’s highest decision-making body, the General Assembly sets the direction of the organisation for the coming years.

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Energy crisis leaves Germany’s toilet paper makers struggling to clean up

By Madeleine Speed and Martin Arnold
The Financial Times
September 23, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

GERMANY — Making a single 2-metre-wide “mother roll” of toilet paper at Germany’s Essity plant in Mainz-Kostheim, where the Main river meets the Rhine, uses 700 kilowatt-hours of natural gas — enough to heat a family home for several weeks during the winter. With energy costs surging and fears of power shortages mounting, Essity has had to raise prices and switch to other sources of fuel. Germany’s energy crisis has placed producers of toilet paper under intense pressure. Some have already gone under or cut production, and economists fear the broader impact on industry and growth. …The impact of the energy crisis on industry has added to fears that what was once the eurozone’s economic powerhouse will soon enter a recession. Economists have slashed their forecasts for Europe’s largest economy; Deutsche Bank now predicts it will shrink 3.5 per cent next year.

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Mercer International Inc. announces completion of a new €300 million sustainability-linked term revolving credit facility

Mercer International Inc.
September 16, 2022
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

NEW YORK, NY — Mercer International announced that it has successfully entered into a new €300 million revolving credit facility for its German  subsidiaries with a syndicate of European banks. The New Facility has a five year term, is  unsecured and accrues interest at a rate of Euribor plus a stipulated margin. The New Facility is “sustainability linked” whereby if certain sustainability targets are achieved, there is a reduction in the applicable interest rate. The sustainability-linked feature is consistent with Mercer’s long term ESG objectives as validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative. The New Facility is available to Mercer’s German operating subsidiaries, including after closing of its  acquisition, HIT Holzindustrie Torgau GmbH & Co. KG and replaces Mercer’s current €200 million revolving  credit facility. 

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